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Going the Distance

Recently at a boat show, I saw what Ranger Tugs calls its Laminar Flow Interrupter surface—which means divots kind of like golf balls between the hull strakes. A builder’s representative told me that the design enhances smooth cornering in turns, and that the plumb bow cuts through rough water.

Recently, I got a chance to see if he was right.

It had been a rainy morning that day in Florida, but winter winds had blown away the clouds, leaving blue skies as I stepped on board the Ranger Tugs R-25. We headed out of Fort Pierce Inlet and got onto plane at about 4200 rpm. Backing the throttle down to 3800 rpm, we cruised at about 21 knots—a sweet spot of efficiency—and then opened her up to a top end just above 37 knots.

Fast and efficient, the Ranger Tugs R-25 Yamaha engine package complements her planing hull.   

Fast and efficient, the Ranger Tugs R-25 Yamaha engine package complements her planing hull.   

The builder’s patented Laminar Flow Interrupter technology allowed for positive cornering performance, while the boat's steep entry provided a smooth ride.

Long-distance cruisers who choose Ranger Tugs, of course, don’t always want to go that fast, but it’s nice to know the capability is there in case of a storm or emergency. And once the boat gets to an anchorage, there’s a lot to like about this boat’s features and amenities, too.

One of the new things Ranger Tugs did with this model is add a ClearPath swim platform. It wraps around the 250-hp Yamaha outboard, keeping everyone clear from the engine rigging while embarking, disembarking, landing fish and more.

Ranger Tugs R-25 36

One step up from the swim platform is the aft deck, which has foldout bench seats that can flip back if deck space is needed to launch water toys or haul in a mahi-mahi. A portside electric grill is ready for cooking fresh fillets. A portside window opens from the cabin and attaches to a Bimini-style shade, while the back of the alfresco dining table’s forward-facing bench can drop down, creating an aft-facing lounge with a footrest. That same bench seat also folds forward, to reveal the electrical panel, stowage or a quarter berth.

Inside, the cabin has teak cabinetry and stainless portholes, creating a classic ambience. Skylights add natural light, while overhead teak strips jazz up the LED lighting. The galley has an electric/alcohol stove, a covered sink and a refrigerator/freezer, with a microwave tucked under the dinette’s aft-facing bench. Grabrails provide stability if a wake disrupts the cook. The table converts to a guest berth for two people.

Ranger Tugs R-25 27
Ranger Tugs R-25 20

The captain’s seat has a drop-down bolster, and visibility is excellent through the curved windshield. A wood steering wheel, throttles, a joystick, and Garmin’s 12-inch GPS and nav system are to starboard.

For the mate, there’s a “secure path” rubber extrusion along the amidships gunwale, easing the path to the bow. Handrails at the bow and on the roof add to the feeling of safety.

A rooftop solar panel powers the boat’s battery system, and the air conditioning operates from an inverter, saving generator space, weight and cost.

Not sure how the systems work? No problem. Ranger Tugs dealers offer in-depth training on the boat’s systems and operation. The company also offers pickup of new boats in Seattle, so owners can cruise, then have the R-25 shrink-wrapped and shipped to their home port. 



LOA: 28ft. 5in.
Beam: 8ft. 6in.
Draft: 2ft. 10in.
Displacement: 5,600 lbs.
Construction: fiberglass
Engines: 1 x 250-hp Yamaha (outboard)
Speed (max./cruise): 37/21 knots
Fuel: 99 gal.
Water: 34 gal.